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MIDDLE-CLASS families have cleared the shelves of cerebral board games as the coronavirus panic continues. 

Staff have reported major shortages of Settlers of Catan, Risk and Carcassonne as families who limit screen time stock up on edifying intellectual pursuits.

Joseph Turner, proprietor of specialist shop Board of Life, said: “They were like animals. Throwing any game they could find on the counter, as long as it was for two to six players and no one who likes Cluedo had heard of it.

“I saw grown men politely disagreeing over who’d laid a sanitised finger on King of Tokyo first and yummy mummies jostling elbows over the last remaining copy of Whistle Stop. We’ve got nothing left.”

Julian Cook of Didsbury said: “We could be trapped in here for weeks and we can’t just let the kids sit around watching TV. There are standards to maintain.

“While the sirens are sounding and the carts collecting the dead roll past outside, they’ll be drowned out by our peals of laughter and the gentle tumbling of dice.”

He added: “We’ve also stocked up on 80 litres of gin.”